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What are the limitations that keep new educational designs from being implemented tomorrow in schools and especially in higher education?

School is my awful job and learning is my amazing hobby; This has been my take on life ever since and contrary to what I thought would happen, it hasn't changed in the last few months of college, when I have actually found that undergraduate studies aren't much different from its earlier analogous structures in what concerns quality of learning.
I figured something would change in college, it had to. No institution of higher education would, like it had always been done before, only try to standardize me through disengaging processes of memorization and mechanization in class, and then test me for it, but they did so, and so I keep dragging my feet through the halls like I always did, uninspired by it all.
Well, here I am watching 10 TED talks and having more fun than I had in any of my classes so far, where I am basically taught simple things as if they were complicated instead of the opposite.
I think the education systems we have are all about making us easily browsable encyclopedias of knowledge and funny looking calculators without ever compelling us to make our own connections between concepts and subjects, understanding them at their core or questioning the underlying mechanisms that drive the phenomena we study, but why? Why does this happen when we have computers that are infinitely better at storing data then our brain and when we know that in order to come up with creative solutions to real life problems we have to do so much more than just recall previous knowledge; also, there is an important link between the education of today and the leader of tomorrow, and if we continue using the educational techniques of yesterday then we will keep having the same uninspired (to say the least) leaders of today. Now my question is: Do you think this is a problem? Exactly what is causing this? Is it a economic or a sociological issue? Does the academic world want to solve this? Does the corporate world? Do the governments? Do you think it can be solved? How?


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    Nov 11 2012: I suppose in the very worst case you could drop out of school altogether and go to work, learn by experience in the working world.
    • Nov 12 2012: I think he's more questioning the rigidity of traditional education. My longer submitted comment might explain more.
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        Nov 12 2012: Yeah, I got that he was questioning the rigidity of traditional education, mitchell. You did see that I submitted two comments, right? In the first comment, I proposed some strategies for improving things. But I was thinking that if none of them worked, and he was really unhappy, he could drop out. I really like your strategies as well.
        • Nov 12 2012: Hmmm. Yeah. I guess I did kind of wrongly discount what you were saying. Sorry.

          I don't know... there seems to be a sort of dichotomy going on within the general student body, and it really does depend on several different factors that decides how the conversation goes. I have this one friend I'm always discussing this issue with. He prescribes to the whole "Ivory Tower' concept of knowledge and education. He would rather that it's only people who are interested in capital-H Higher Learning that should be allowed to have access to knowledge and information at a deeper level than just the superficial, whereas I'm of the opinion that knowledge should be made available to all in such a way as to make it entertaining and easy to understand. TED does an excellent job of this, but that doesn't mean that the systems involved actually do that.

          The idea of interesting learning is interesting to me though. This semester I've been experimenting in my papers by writing in a very personal format, doing away with the traditional style of research papers in favour of something with more flavour, and the results have been quite telling. I'm somehow managing to pull in a rather high grade average despite most of my professors being of the old-school breed. Maybe changing the rigid mentality of our institutions isn't absolutely impossible to do? It might just take the courage to go against the stream and try something new when approaching the "time tested traditions" or our education system.

          .....as I'm sitting here typing this I'm still shaking my head. My thoughts are chasing themselves around in my head.
    • Nov 14 2012: Schools are also a working environment, remember.
      At least if they are not pure confessional institutions, they are also a place for workers to work, and they have also their own market constraints, depending on each country system and visions on education, public responsabilities on that and other points.
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        Nov 15 2012: Yeah, you're right. Do you think that schools want their students to be happy, or do you think they don't care whether they're happy?

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